Outside of community college campus building with many windows

Top 10 Reasons to Study at a Community College

From saving money to testing the waters to transferring with ease, there are many benefits to attending or starting out a community college.

There are many reasons why students might not be as interested in the four-year undergraduate experience—maybe you aren’t sure what you want to study yet, your goals don’t require a traditional college path, or you need to save money to attend your dream school. In any case, attending a community college can be a great opportunity for you to learn more about yourself and gather skills and credits that can help you transfer to other programs. Here are the top 10 reasons to attend community college.

1. Less expensive

Traditional four-year college can cost a lot—tens of thousands of dollars for just one year of tuition. Average yearly tuition for community colleges in the US is approximately $5,340 for in-state students, according to the Community College Review. This huge cost difference can be a relief for your (or your parents') wallet. During your time on a community college campus, you could save money then transfer and enroll in a four-year program down the road.

Related: How to Save Money by Transferring Colleges

2. Good for testing the waters

“Community college is a brilliant way to ease yourself into higher education. You can learn more about the experience and get a better understanding of whether you’re the right person for higher education,” says Lena Alonso, a marketing professional at Australia2write. “Community college can help you make a decision whether you want to invest money in college or not.”

3. Financial aid and scholarships

Loans and aid aren’t just for four-year colleges. You can get financial aid through the FAFSA for community college as well, as long as you make sure you don’t drop out of your classes and take the minimum amount of credit hours required (check with your school’s financial aid office for specific requirements). And don’t forget about scholarships—many national and institutional awards are available for community college and transfer students, like Phi Theta Kappa scholarships.

4. Healthy school-life balance

Many adult students or people who already have families enroll in community college because they can take only a few classes at a time and have more time for family and other responsibilities. This is a great opportunity for you if you want to make sure that you don’t neglect other aspects of your life.

Related: How to Find Balance as a Working Student

5. Support for STEM careers

“Many community colleges are really supportive of STEM careers and offer associate degrees in these subjects because they are in high demand,” says George Bennett, a Marketer at Britstudent. “This can help students find better jobs.”

6. A real college experience

You might assume that community colleges don’t offer the same student life experience as traditional colleges do, but this has changed. Many community colleges now offer dorms, networking opportunities, scholarships, and extracurriculars to enhance life on campus.

7. Online classes

You can also take online classes through community colleges if you prefer to learn that way. This is a good option for those who work odd hours or want an opportunity to learn at a pace that suits them best. Online classes are convenient for people who can’t attend regular classes and are a convenient way to earn credits to apply to four-year programs in the future.

Related: Pros and Cons of an Online College Education

8. More personal attention

Community colleges offer smaller classes than traditional four-year schools, which means you’ll get more personalized attention from professors. This is especially helpful if you like to learn at your own pace and don’t want to be just another face in the crowd. Many traditional colleges boast low student-faculty ratios, but their introductory courses may be large, lecture-style classes, which offer almost no personalized attention.

9. Certificates in popular industries

Great career opportunities are usually related to traditional colleges, but community colleges offer valuable certificate opportunities and associate degrees that can help you get amazing jobs too. These include many industries and niches like technology, engineering, and more.

10. Transfer agreements

Community college doesn’t have to be your final educational destination—in fact, many community colleges have agreements with local colleges and universities to help students apply their community college credits to their desired four-year programs. Articulation agreements are a great opportunity for you to get the best out of your education and can make the transfer process more seamless.

Related: Want an Ivy League Degree? Consider Community College First

Community colleges offer great opportunities for people from many different backgrounds and with different needs. You can learn and have that college experience, take online classes, gather credits to transfer to a traditional four-year college, and save money in the process. Consider these perks when deciding on your future education!

Explore thousands of two- and four-year colleges on CollegeXpress with our College Search tool.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

articulation agreements community college transfer students transfer tips transferring two-year schools

About Katrina Hatchett

Katrina is an education blogger involved in various educational projects. Her main aim is to define project problems and propose solutions as well as improve overall communication effectiveness. In her free time, she likes to help high school students make decisions on their future based on their interests.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Heaven Johnson

Heaven Johnson

Back to School Scholarship Winner, High School Class of 2023

I’d like to thank everyone on the CollegeXpress team for their generosity. Not only have I been awarded this scholarship, but CollegeXpress makes it easier to apply and gives amazing tips for schools and scholarships. I am extremely grateful as this will help with my schooling and allow me to be able to enter into the field I’ve been dreaming of all my life. 



Student, University of the People

I registered with CollegeXpress and filled all my necessary and relevant information as well as the course I wished to study. A few days later, an email was sent to me with a list of schools offering the course; amongst them was the University of the People, the school I got admitted to.

Samantha Fils-Aime

Samantha Fils-Aime

High School Class of 2019

I love that CollegeXpress has helped me find some scholarships to apply for but also helped me succeed in school with lots of tips. I also really like how they consistently email me about webinars that teach me a lot of things from the comfort of my home!

Maya Ingraham

Maya Ingraham

October 2021 Mini Scholarship Winner, Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has given me more confidence in my college process. With easy-to-access resources and guidance such as the CX Weekly Roundup, I have been able to find the best colleges for me. Most importantly, there’s a surplus of scholarship opportunities for every student to support their education.

Sarah Armstrong

Sarah Armstrong

High School Class of 2022

I am a deaf student, and I had always dreamed of going to Gallaudet University. CollegeXpress helped me search though other qualified universities. They helped me know for sure that Gallaudet University was the right choice for me!

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Castleton University

Castleton, VT

John Carroll University

University Heights, OH

University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA